Over the last week or so I have attended a number of FM related events and discussions, read any number of FM articles, blog posts and papers.
Each time, within the built environment sustainability agenda, FM is seen as an underdog, attempting to justify its presence and role, with a “what about FM” whimper. Too content to be a responsive, monitor and report sector, frightened to stand up and take a lead?
In respect of sustainability, has FM reached a fork in the road, are the options dead ends without changing our patterns of thought?
Too many built environment initiatives (eg Eco Towns), reworked frameworks (eg BREEAM and LEED) and tools, strategies, ( eg UK Sustainable Construction Strategy), milestones and targets for zero are being introduced without being driven from an FM, facilities in use, end user usability perspective. This makes them in themselves weak and ‘unsustainable’.
FM isn’t just about buildings though, it is of course more about people, end users and communities. Yet as peoples lives are shaped by the buildings that they create, FM MUST be involved, even lead, in the built environment debates on a sustainable future
For a while now I have been putting the built environment sustainability agenda in the context of a facilities management one. Two things happened recently though that convinced me that we need to be stronger, stand forward and ‘go for it’ .
First a discussion with Karen Ford of Creative FM who founded Footprintfriends, a personal attempt to do something to engage with the next generation, rather than just talk about it, hold a seminar, maybe a workshop or two and then like all good intents, fade away. Well done Karen.
Secondly it was more than reassuring to partake in discussions on sustainable fm as part of the Euofm confernce in Manchester where the expression of Aggressive FM (aFM) was born. My interpretation of which is:
Aggressive FM is not stuck in the monitor and report paradigm …
Aggressive FM is about making FM count …
Aggressive FM is not adversarial but is engaging …
Aggressive FM is about taking FM to the center stage of the built environment …
Along side Aggressive FM is FM2.0 – the facilities management use of Web2 technology, again as footprintprints has embraced, creating a social, learning and sharing network for change. FM2.0 is Facilities Management using Web2 to engage on a person and relatiosnhip level within FM communities, users, customers, desicion makers, people, next generations … for real change.
As is often used these days in sustainability events is the Quote from Ghandi – be the change you want to be in the world. So in FM do we want to be a passive group of monitors and reporters or an aggressive FM on the center stage of sustainability? There will be much much more about Aggressive FM very soon, watch this space. Are you ready to Go For It ?
I’ve met some aggressive facilities managers in my time, and they were definitely adversarial! Would ‘assertive FM’ be a better term? more aFM than Afm?
Its a good point Paul and obviously one that has been discussed, and yet the feeling across the group of European fm’s is that aggressive is the right term.
I do tend to agree with you, but aggressive may grab attention!!
I like the aFM though.